Premiere: “Three Black Crows” by Hope Dunbar

“Three Black Crows is a record for people who have been through some stuff,” explains Nebraska-based song crafter Hope Dunbar of her forthcoming album, set for release on October 6th. “We’re too old to pretend we don’t know how hard life can be. We’ve lost childhood innocence. We can’t pretend we’re untouched by hardship and heartbreak. We can’t pretend that everything is fine because it isn’t. We’ve lost innocence, but we’ve gained wisdom and strength and endurance, and thank God for that. And just because we’ve been knocked down doesn’t mean we don’t get back up again. That’s what the record’s about,” she adds, “It’s about being slightly stronger than you thought you were.”

Dunbar, part of the dynamically surging music scenes of Omaha and Lincoln, which she says is “a school all on its own,” was encouraged by another songwriter to call her style “New American Prairie.” “I live in a small town in rural Nebraska. It’s beautiful here, but not postcard beautiful,” she reveals. “It’s a quiet beauty that takes a while to sink in. This town is great, but its greatness is in its people, in its heart, in its resilience. It has the history of homesteading in its blood and of the kind of heart and toil it takes to turn a hard land into bounty. That’s part of it. I think that stuff is in the songs. I think I adopted that stuff into my writer’s voice,” she continues.  “An artist can do great work that has lasting influence from wherever it is they live — be it LA, Chicago, or a town of 800 in rural Nebraska. I think that’s what I’m doing. New American Prairie style is of this moment and this time, but built on the history of these plains and strong enough to stand up to the north wind. I had two choices: get lost in a set genre full of incredible artists trying hard like I am, or be bold enough to believe that my work merits its own,” she levels. “I chose the second thing.”

Today, Dunbar unveils the title track to Three Black Crows; the song is beautifully simple–her voice simmers with a thousand stories, as spare instrumentation gives an air of ominous mystery to the pondering and resolves with steely determination to keep moving forward.

Without further ado, Mother Church Pew proudly presents “Three Black Crows” by Hope Dunbar:

 

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Susan Hubbard

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